Squeaky door hinges are a staple of old horror films and The Munsters. They need not be part of your life. With the many lubricant choices available, you should be able to find the one that works best for your situation. Here is a list of some of the best and most effective lubricants from my experience installing and maintaining countless doors.
8 Best Lubricants for Door Hinges
Door hinges are everywhere–interior and exterior doors, kitchen cabinet doors, auto doors, garage doors, and more. We have included some of the best lubricants for all applications.
1) 3M Silicone Lubricant – Dry Version, 08897
The 3M Silicone Lubricant – Dry Version, 08897 is, in my opinion, the absolute best multi-purpose lubricant around. It is great for hinge squeaks. You can apply it two ways. Remove the hinge pin of one hinge at a time. Spray a little silicone inside the knuckles. Spray the pin, and re-insert it. (If you treat the hinges one at a time, you will not have to re-hang the door slab.) Give the outsides of the hinge knuckles a short squirt after you have lubricated the pin, wipe off any excess, and enjoy a quiet door.
The quick and dirty way of lubricating the hinges is just to spray the exterior of the hinges of the hinge knuckles. Silicone works almost as well as penetrating oil at getting into small cervices. This method works quickly, but could make a bit more mess. (This is my lazy man’s way. Quick and efficient.) Just wipe off any accelerant drips.
Not only will 3M Silicone turn you into a hinge quieting genius, it prevents rubber squeaks, lubricates moving parts, prevents corrosion and rust, seals out moisture, preserves plastic, leather, and rubber among many other uses. It resists freezing down to -28 degrees Fahrenheit and will not break down at temperatures as high as 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it contains no petroleum or oils, it will not stain. The isobutane propellant is highly flammable but also evaporates almost instantly.
3M Silicone Lubricant can be used on almost any type of hinge, including door hinges, overhead door hinges and rollers, automobile door/hood/trunk hinges, cabinet hinges, and more. One of its only drawbacks is the relatively short length of time between treatments compared to other types of products. Still, interior door hinges should remain squeak-free for a year after being sprayed. Car door hinges not as long.
- Great multi-purpose lubricant can be used on almost anything
- No residue
- Works in a wide temperature range
- Fast propellant evaporation
The Not so Good
- Accelerant is very flammable but evaporates quickly
2) Lucas Oil 10533 White Lithium Grease
Lucas Oil 10533 White Lithium Grease meets National Lubricating Grease Institute 2 (NLGI-2) performance standards. What this means is that it has the consistency of peanut butter and stays where you put it. Ideal for multiple household applications including hinges, garage door hardware, openers, springs, and more. An excellent grease with many uses, including trucks, tractors, and construction equipment, it is only available in 8 ounce tubes.
This is a long-lasting wear and friction-reducing grease. It is not for exterior application on door hinges because it will attract and hold dirt and can make a mess if it gets on hands, clothing, etc. For good lubrication, remove each hinge pin separately, use a Q-tip to spread the grease on tops and bottoms of hinge knuckles and pin. Re-insert the pin. After swinging the door back and forth a couple of times, you should hear silence.
The Lithium grease will last quite a bit longer than silicone spray. It is an excellent product for garage door tracks and automotive applications such as door hinges, hood hinges, and trunk hinges.
Note: Lucas manufactures many types of grease such as marine and X-TRA grease that are available in multiple-sized containers.
- High quality long lasting grease
- Ideal for hinges, garage doors, openers, and more
- Perfect for automotive applications – door, hood, and trunk hinges
- Friction reducing
- Available in 8 oz. tubes
- Lasts longer than dry silicone
The Not so Good
3) Super Lube 51004 Synthetic Oil with PTFE
The Super Lube 51004 Synthetic Oil with PTFE reduces friction and wear, and is waterproof. PTFE particles are suspended in synthetic oil. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is best known by its DuPont name brand of Teflon. It easily penetrates and bonds to metals, wood, rubber, plastic, and most other material. Making it a perfect product to use not only on door hinges, cabinet hinges; but on kitchen cabinet drawer slides to make them run smoothly and prevent rust.
This is a high viscosity product meaning it will not run off. Not only is it a great product for hinges of every type, but it is also perfect for shredders, overhead door chains, printers, and because it is certified as food grade, it can be used on food processing equipment.
For best door hinge results, remove the hinge pins one at a time, put a drop of Super Lube on each knuckle and a few drops on the pin. A little of this PTFE product goes a long way. And will make your door hinges, cabinet hinges, and overhead door hinges and chains work quietly and longer.
This is an excellent addition to your lubrication supply. Use it on almost anything around the yard. Super Lube is used in all kinds of industrial machinery and is available in sizes up to 55 gallon drums.
- Synthetic oil
- Teflon (PTFE) infused in oil
- Penetrates and bonds to metal, wood, rubber, and much more
- Excellent product for sticky kitchen cabinet drawers
- High viscosity
- Economical – small amounts last a long time
The Not so Good
4) 3-IN-ONE 100584 Professional Garage Door Lubricant
The 3-IN-ONE 100584 Professional Garage Door Lubricant is made specifically for garage door systems. Although it can be used for most other hinges and moving parts needing lubrication. This quick-drying spray is made for all metal and moving parts on your garage door including hinges, springs, tracks, pulleys, latches, and chains. It will spray thick and wide, or flip up the permanent straw for hard to get at locations requiring smaller spray applications. Extends part’s life spans and makes for a quiet door opener.
It also protects against rusting, corrosion, sticking, and squeaking. And prevents the accumulation of dirt on operating parts.
- Made to lubricate the complete garage door system
- One product for everything
- 2 delivery patterns – thick and wide or pinpoint
- Protects against rusting and corrosion
- Prevents dirt accumulation
The Not so Good
- Very flammable before it dries. Unplug electrical devices. No open flames
5) Door-Ease Lubricant, Stick, 1.68 oz
The Door-Ease Lubricant, Stick, 1.68 oz is ‘The Original’ no-mess stick lubricant. It can be your answer for hinges, drawer slides, sliding door and window channels, zippers, automotive hinges, and much more. Almost anything around the house that needs lubrication. Safe to use on metal, wood, glass, plastic, and rubber. It is weatherproof and prevents wear on exposed surfaces. This is a much cleaner lubricant than grease or oils.
Door-Ease is a lubricant combination of petroleum distillates, Paraffin, Microcrystalline wax, tallow oil, and carnauba wax, along with other lesser ingredients. None of the ingredients (in the concentrations present) constitute a health hazard. Data provided by AGS Company.
It is a clean convenient product that can stop sticking and squeaking around the house, garage, and shop. It will not break down and become runny or messy or attract dirt.
To apply on residential door hinges, remove one hinge pin at a time, rub Door-Ease on the pins and knuckles, re-install the pin and repeat on all hinges. The door should stop squeaking immediately. It works very well on automotive door, hood, and trunk hinges. It is a little difficult to apply to kitchen cabinet hinges. You may want to shave a little off the stick, put it on a Q-tip and then rub it onto the hinge.
- No mess stick lubricant
- No grease or oil
- Safe to use on almost anything including metal, wood, plastic, and wood
- Made from a combination of wax, oil, and petroleum
- Feels dry and will not break down
The Not so Good
- Can be difficult to apply in tight locations
- Can be a bit of a messy application as the paper wears off the stick
6) DuPont Silicone Lubricant with Teflon Fluoro Polymer
The DuPont Silicone Lubricant with Teflon Fluoro Polymer provides a lubricant combination of silicone and Teflon. This is an excellent lubricant for hinges and other products that might have non-metal parts in them. (Some plastics can be damaged by other types of lubricant.) The formulation can be used on rubber, vinyl, plastic, leather, wood, and also metal. It waterproofs, protects, lubricates, and preserves.
This is a great all-purpose lubricant for home, garage, shop, and worksite use. The combination of ingredients provides longer lubricant life and enhanced water protection. It is also effective in a wide temperature range band–minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to plus 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dupont Silicone is applicable for automobile and marine use, sliding windows and doors, all types of hinges and locks, fitness equipment, and almost anywhere lubrication is needed to prevent sticking and squeaking and annoyance. It comes with a straw that fits into the spray button to reach hard to get at locations. (But as with most of these straws, it can be annoying to use.)
- Silicone combined with Teflon lubricant
- Excellent lubricant for non-metal applications – rubber, plastic, vinyl, leather, etc.
- Also works very well on metal and wood
- Silicone/Teflon combination provides longer lubricant life
- Effective in a wide temperature band
- Good for residential, cabinet, automotive hinges
The Not so Good
- Spray straw is difficult to insert and keep on
7) LiquidFix Door, Lock, and Hinge Lubricant
The LiquidFix Door, Lock, and Hinge Lubricant is an all-in-one product formulated to clean, lubricate, and protect metal to metal friction points. It was designed to quickly penetrate into the working parts of hinges to eliminate squeaks and prevent further rust and corrosion.
LiquidFix comes with a large 4 oz. bottle for bigger jobs like automobile hinges, gate hinges, garage door rollers and tracks, and more. The small needle-nosed applicator is an excellent choice when more precision application is required–such as a drop or two on door hinges or kitchen cabinet hinges.
This lubricant lasts much longer than thinner sprays. And with a freezing point of -55 degrees Fahrenheit, it is one of the better choices for cold climate lubrication.
- Cleans, lubricates, protects
- Quick penetration
- 2 different sized bottles per order
- Small needle-nosed applicator
- Ideal cold climate lubricant – stays liquid down to -55 degrees Fahrenheit
The Not so Good
8) Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil, 14.9 ml Precision Bottle
The Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil, 14.9 ml Precision Bottle is great for precise amounts of lubrication in tight places. Hoppe has been making gun oil in the USA since 1903. They claim the high viscosity oil is refined to perfection. Ideal for precision mechanisms like fishing reels and guns; it is excellent for door hinges and cabinet hinges that need only a drop or two of oil–not large amounts.
This is extra long-lasting oil that does not harden or gum up–making it great for hinge lubrication because it lasts much longer than many other lubricants. Hoppe’s #9 oil is a mineral oil base with smaller amounts of petroleum product mixed in to give it a distinctive smell, and create the viscosity and penetrating qualities it has.
As good as the oil is, many of the rave reviews center on the applicator bottle. It does not leak or drip and will provide one small drop at a time. And it is refillable.
- Inexpensive high quality oil
- High viscosity – long-lasting
- Will not harden or gum up
- Ideal for precision mechanisms with tight tolerances
- Made in the USA
- Excellent re-fillable applicator bottle
The Not so Good
Door Hinge Lubricant Buying Criteria
Not all lubricants are created equally. And not all situations can be addressed with the same type of lubricant. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a lubricant for your door hinges.
Types of Lubricant
These are some of the best types of lubricants you will find to lubricate hinges to provide quiet operation and long life.
- Silicone. Dry silicone spray is a light lubricant not suitable for industrial use. Its application is quick and easy. It works almost instantly but does not last as long as other products.
- Teflon Infused Silicone. Many hinges are not made of pure metal. They will have plastic or rubber parts mixed with the metal. (Kitchen cabinet hinges are often a good example of this type of hinge.) Teflon protects non-metal parts because it adheres more easily to them.
- Lithium Grease. Lithium grease is a great option for all types of hinges–but especially for automotive hinges because it is thick and acts a little like bearing grease and it will adhere for a longer time. It does a great job of repelling moisture and reducing rust and corrosion. Important considerations for automobile use. The application can be very messy. Take care to keep it off of surrounding material.
- Petroleum-Based Lubricant. Petroleum-based products are oily and can be messy if you apply too much. They can run out of, or off of, hinges. But if applied properly, oil is excellent at reducing rust and corrosion. It is long-lasting. “Applied properly” quite often means try a little bit first, then add more when, and if, required.
- Dry Lubricant. Dry lubricant is a great choice if you are afflicted with near-terminal messiness. Although a little more difficult to apply in tight areas, it dries quickly and does not stain. Dirt and dust will not adhere to it. It quite often comes in stick form.
Types of Delivery System
Lubricants are generally delivered (applied) to the hinge in 3 ways.
- Sprayed. Most silicone and Teflon infused products are sprayed onto the hinge. In most cases the manufacturer will supply a thin straw to allow pin-point application. In many cases the straw turns out to be worthless. Either it will not fit into the spray button or it will not stay in. (Note: This is true of other types of products also. It is very depressing when the straw pops out of your wasp killing foam can.)
- Dripped. Most oil-based lubricant cans come with an attached tube for application. They are usually fairly short and may not reach to where you need the oil.
- Smeared. Or rubbed on. Hinges do not come with grease nipples, so products like lithium grease and dry lubricant have to be rubbed onto the hinge parts to be effective. The dry products are not messy, but any grease-based product can get all over the place because you do a better job applying it with your fingers.
Additional Lubricant Considerations
Some of the other things that might be part of your lubricant decision-making process could be:
- Where You Live. Many lubricants remain viable even when temperatures reach -55 degrees Fahrenheit and will continue to work well at temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a location that experiences extreme temperatures, made sure that the product you choose will stand up to them.
- Types of Hinges. Most hinges are exclusively metal. But some have plastic or rubber parts. Ensure that the lubricant you choose will work with the type of hinge you have. (Note: Surprisingly, petroleum-based lubricants can cause corrosion on stainless steel hinges while silicone can cause deterioration of rubber over time.)
- Price & Volume. Generally, lubrication products are not very expensive. Unless you are buying by the gallon or more. Hinge lubrication requires very little product to achieve a positive result. Make sure you buy enough to do the job. (Note: The 3 cans of dry silicone spray that I have are all over 5 years old and still around half full. And they are used for hinges, sliding vinyl windows, treadmill, and any thing else that sticks, squeaks or may not be operating properly.)
Benefits of Regular Hinge Lubrication
Regular hinge lubrication will provide both short, and long term benefits which include:
- Eliminating Squeaks. Hinges that squeak–or make other noises–are trying to tell you something. Noisy hinges are beginning to wear out. Usually, they are dry. Metal rubbing against metal without the protection of a lubricant will wear minute amounts of hinge material off with every movement. Door hinge knuckles, for instance, should be fairly snug. If you see gaps of 1/16″ or bigger, your hinges are wearing out and should be changed. (Eventually, doors can drag on floors and not latch.)
- Protect Against Moisture. Most hinge lubricants will keep moisture out of hinges and protect against rust and corrosion. Some products, like lithium grease are particularly effective at preventing moisture from getting into the mechanism.
- Extending Hinge Life. Besides eliminating annoying squeaks and preventing rust, a consistent lubrication program will extend the life of all hinges. Overhead doors, for example, move a lot of weight regularly. Lubrication allows them to run smoothly.
FAQs About Lubricant For Door Hinge
Here are some common hinge lubricant questions.
1) Can I use WD-40 to lubricate my door hinges?
Yes. But you should pay attention to the type of WD-40. They now manufacture many different lubricants with many different formulas. In my experience, the original formula (WD-40 is short for Water Displacement, 40th formula) tends to dry out. Products with silicone and/or Teflon additives are much better.
2) Does Vaseline work on door hinges as a lubricant?
Yes. Just keep in mind that it could be messy and attract dirt and dust if on the outside of the hinge.
3) Is silicone lubricant good for door hinges?
Yes. Dry silicone spray lubricant is one of the best all-around hinge lubricants. It is not messy and does not stain. Make sure you do not get wet silicone spray. It can make a big mess if not used properly.
4) What makes my hinges squeak?
Hinges squeak when there is a build-up of dirt or dust between the knuckles. Often the dirt is produced by cheap hinges wearing down. There should be no gaps between the knuckles of hinges. Lubrication will only work so long. Eventually, the hinges will wear out.
5) How does lubrication work?
All types of lubrication work the same way. They coat parts with a thin layer of slippery material, enabling parts to move smoothly and quietly against each other.
Occasionally, door hinges are past the point of no return and need to be replaced. They have not been lubricated for years and have either worn away a significant amount of the knuckles or are rusty and corroded.
Replace the Door Hinges
If you need to replace your door hinges, get good quality ball bearing hinges that will last and replace all of the hinges on the door at one time. You can save yourself some grief by removing and replacing them one at a time.